ROM Research

Monthly Archive: December ROM

Wildlife Photography: Behind the Camera

Posted: March 15, 2016 - 12:24 , by Stacey Kerr
A bolt of lightning streaks across a purple sky over the mountains and rainforests of Sri Lanka

Guest Blog written by Environmental Visual Communication students Aisha Parkhill-Goyette and Jeff Dickie

Imagine you are deep in the jungle of Sri Lanka. You find yourself blinded by the pouring rain, knee deep in a rushing river, desperately trying not to fall in. Lightning strikes only meters away, but instead you are worried about the small tickle by your left elbow, and you are hoping that it is not one of the dozens of land leeches that keep falling onto you from the trees above. Not everyone has what it takes to be a wildlife photographer. It takes a special kind of dedication and a special kind of person - someone who is just as wild as the creatures they are trying to capture on camera.

EVC Students Jeff and Aisha interviewed a pair of up-and-coming wildlife photographers who travelled with ROM mammalogist Burton Lim to Sri Lanka last fall, to share some stories about what it's like behind the camera.

Mexican Cartel lands are home to a newly described species: Goode’s Thornscrub Tortoise

Posted: February 10, 2016 - 12:00 , by Dave Ireland
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A new species of tortoise named Goode’s Thornscrub Tortoise, described today by Dr. Robert (Bob) Murphy and colleagues in the Journal ZooKeys. Photo taken in Reserva Monte Mojino, Sonora, Mexico, 24 August, 2013 Photo by Taylor Edwards

ROM curator of reptiles and amphibians, Dr. Bob Murphy and a team of international scientists use leading edge genetic techniques and dangerous fieldwork activities to describe a new species of tortoise in Mexico and shine light on the conservation status of other rare and threatened tortoises from the region

Blue Whale Update: From Trenton with Love

Posted: December 22, 2015 - 11:25 , by Stacey Kerr
It took a team of seven people to lift the blue whale heart enough to finish wrapping it. Photo by Stacey Lee Kerr

It’s that time of year where many of us are pretty focused on the holidays. Spending time with family and friends, baking and eating loads of treats, and - let’s be honest - the gifts. Finding them, buying them, wrapping them, and getting them to where they need to go, whether the destination is under the Christmas tree, or to be mailed to relatives somewhere else around the world.

So, given that everybody’s in this present-logistics state of mind, we have a gift-wrapping question for you… how do you ship a blue whale heart?

The ROM's Very Own Batman Returns

Posted: October 13, 2015 - 14:00 , by Stacey Kerr
The ROM’s very own ‘Batman’, Assistant Curator of Mammalogy, Dr. Burton Lim with "bat wings" outlined with light in a long exposure photo. Credit: Vincent Luk

ROM Biodiversity (@ROMBiodiversity) was in the fields and forests of Sri Lanka for an intense four weeks between Aug 23 - Sept 19, 2015, completing the first comprehensive survey of bats and other small mammals that live on the island in close to 80 years. 

ROM in the Field: Bats, Barcoding, and a Baby

Posted: September 8, 2015 - 16:15 , by Stacey Kerr
A tube-nosed bat (Murina cyclotis) in flight. Photo by Vincent Luk

ROM Biodiversity (@ROMBiodiversity) is in the fields and forests of Sri Lanka for an intense four weeks doing the first comprehensive survey of bats and other small mammals in close to 80 years. Follow the South Asian adventure on social media with #ROMSriLanka, and join Burton Lim and the Team LIVE from the field on September 10 at noon:  

#ROMSriLanka Kicks off Month-long Expedition

Posted: August 21, 2015 - 12:47 , by Stacey Kerr
photo of a an elephant standing in a wetland in Yala National Park in Sri Lanka with jungle and a mountain in the background

Guest blog written by #ROMSriLanka Communication team member Deirdre Leowinata

The ROM’s own Assistant Curator of Mammalogy, Burton Lim, along with his ROM Biodiversity team, are traversing the planet’s surface to reach the small and mysterious country of Sri Lanka between August and September for one purpose and one purpose only… to study the island's small mammals.

The Monastery of St Moses, Syria: The Prehistoric Remains

Posted: December 1, 2014 - 08:52 , by Robert Mason
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The largest corbelled structure, in fact a complex of three (Feature 56 - 58), with the Qalamoun mountains in the background.

Since 2004 I had walked the Qalamoun mountains around the monastery of Deir Mar Musa looking for archaeological features to record. In all that time I found one lithic, a stone tool from humanity’s prehistoric past. My colleagues back home that specialised in these objects would say that I just didn’t know what I was looking for. In the last days of the 2009 season, what turned out to be my last season at the monastery, I thought I would reconnoitre the southern part of the field area.

Goddess Exposed: the ROM’s ‘Minoan’ Goddess is on display!

Posted: September 23, 2014 - 14:19 , by Kate Cooper
ROM 'Minoan' Goddess now on display

She’s been languishing in the Greek & Roman storerooms for years, but finally  the ROM Minoan Goddess is back on display.

The Monastery of St Moses, Syria: The Frescoes

Posted: July 4, 2014 - 12:26 , by Robert Mason
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The fresco of the Last Judgement on the West wall of the chapel at Deir Mar Musa.

The third in a series on the monastery of St Moses in Syria comprises a detailed examination of the important cycle of 11th-12th century frescoes found in the chapel.

The Monastery of St Moses, Syria: The Pottery

Posted: June 29, 2014 - 09:38 , by Robert Mason
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Pottery with an earthenware fired-clay body, overall white slip, incision through the slip with a broad tool, overall lead glaze, splashed with copper-green, probably mid-14th century.

Despite there being almost 1,400 years of occupation at Deir Mar Musa, strangely the overwhelming majority of the pottery found at the site can be assigned to the "Mamluk" period. The period of Mamluk rule in Greater Syria (1260-1516) generally reflects an archaeological horizon that post-dates the destruction of the great ceramic production centre at al-Raqqa,  and Eastern Syria became a wasteland on the border with the Mongol Ilkhanate dynasty of Iran, leaving Damascus as the sole producer of elite quality under-glaze painted stone-paste bodied ceramics.